How safe is the rapid weight loss?

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weight lossYou can drop the extra weight as quickly as possible, but the loss is often the longest with a slow and safe.
Tempted by the fad diet that promises 15 or even 30 pounds of weight loss in the first month? Although it would be wonderful if the excess weight safely could melt (ideally before bikini season), rapid weight loss is unlikely, and extended the extreme weight loss is not safe

Weight Loss: Understanding the first drop

"We usually recommend about half a pound to two pounds per week, which is much less than the fad diets promise," said Emily Banes, RD, clinical dietitian at Houston Northwest Medical Center.

Banes recognizes that some people may experience rapid weight loss in the early stages of a new regime, but says it is important to be realistic about what to expect in the long run. "If you have a lot to lose and start a diet and lose more than two pounds a week is not necessarily a bad thing, but I know it will diminish," Banes says, adding that part of the initial weight loss is probably water weight.

Even patients Banes "who had lap band or gastric bypass surgery and losing weight dramatically in the first place will eventually fall to what looks like an exploration, but is actually a rate of healthy weight loss. Banes said she would worry about someone rate of weight loss if they continued to lose five to 10 pounds (or more) per week.

Weight Loss: Safe Strategies, Best Strategies

While not everyone, including Banes, focuses on counting calories, doing the math can help guide you to a safer weight loss. Generally, experts recommend trimming 500 to 1,000 calories from your daily intake by eating less and exercising more.

A pound is the equivalent of 3,500 calories, so if you can cut 500 calories each day for a week, you should lose one pound. Researchers who analyzed data from 1,801 Minnesota dieters over a two-year period found that the more strategies dieters used, the more likely they were to be successful in losing weight at this pace. Strategies that lead to success include:
  • Counting calories
  • Increasing daily exercise (aim for 150 minutes a week or more)
  • Cutting out sweets and snacks
  • Reducing fat intake to less than 30 percent
  • Increasing fruit and vegetables
  • Decreasing portion sizes

The researchers noted that one crucial piece of information lacking from many diet strategies: persistence. Their conclusions support the fact that even though it will take a long time at the pound-per-week pace — longer than many people would like — with a slower approach you are more likely to develop the long-term healthy habits that will help keep the lost weight off.

Weight Loss: When the Rate Becomes Dangerous

If extreme weight loss means you are not getting enough nutrients — the fats, carbohydrates, and proteins needed for your body to function properly — you have entered the territory of unsafe weight loss. You may also be developing an eating disorder focused on your obsession with weight. Some of the warning signs that you may be losing too much weight are:
  • Thinning hair
  • Frequently becoming sick
  • Feeling cold more often than usual
  • Having fewer or no menstrual cycles
Disappointing though it may be, the reality is that slow and steady wins the weight-loss race. Take it easy and be patient — you will achieve your goal and, more importantly, maintain it.

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